Posted in: Daily Life

It’s time for me to snap out of some things and I’m really trying to refocus the blog to where it needs to be.  I just finished reading The Happiness of Pursuit and the book has completely changed my world and I think it’s starting to change Willie’s world too.  My point: I want to be happy as much as I possibly can in life.  I understand that I will not be happy all moments of my life but that doesn’t mean that it has to be a complete downer.

I can only be the person I am.

I can’t be anyone but me.  I’m a people pleaser so I try to be everything for everyone but this just isn’t realistic.  So when it comes to the blog there will be a change.  I’m not a food blogger.  I’ve never wanted to be a food blogger.  I love to cook but I’m content cooking just be cooking.  Willie wants to be a food blogger.  Willie is HAPPY creating new dishes and trying new things in the kitchen.  Willie = food blogger, Angela is not.

Coming to the realization has kind of cleared up a lot of things for both us when it comes to blogging.  Willie felt the need to blog about his running and races where that’s not really him.  That’s me.  I felt the need to talk about the food which is more him.  It’s time to start thinking of We Beat Fat and Fueled By Running as a team endeavor.

I’m going to talk about the living the healthy lifestyle: being active and the mind body and soul and Willie is going to talk about what goes into the healthy lifestyle body and working out.  That’s where his heart is and mine is being active, finding yourself and your happiness and of course running/endurance sports.  We both will talk about traveling and pushing past our comfort zones.

I can’t deny that I’m a running.  I can’t deny that I am going to start training for my first half Ironman.  I can’t deny that I’m about to embark on a quest that will teach me not only about our great country but about myself.  These are parts of me that keep me moving forward.

This past year, I’ve truly seen that I’m wired differently than most.  I’m always looking toward the next thing and I guess I’ve always been that way.  I’ve just never taken the time to notice it.  It’s not about what I’ve done, it’s about the challenge of doing more.  I never want to stay stagnant .  I will keep pushing forward and I can’t deny that simple fact.

For most people it’s not going to be relating to the activity (endurance sports), but that doesn’t mean you won’t relate the stories.  It’s about a deeper meaning.  It’s much more than running a marathon; it’s about time, commitment, discipline, self-confidence, fear, doubt, accomplishment and so much more.  All those things that are wrapped up in my weight loss story play through into the many parts of my now life.  Weight loss has made me stronger in so many ways.

So I can only be me and nothing more, but I will always encourage, motivate and inspire others to achieve what they deem impossible.  Keep reading.

Posted in: Daily Life, Health

The Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour has been in Houston so Willie and I made our way there to get our numbers checked. I had been to the tour before but this was Willie’s first time and he was pretty impressed.

Walgreens Way to Well tour
The bus was very nice and the Fitbit and other health devices were on display. Don’t forget you can connect your device to the Walgreens Balance® Rewards*+ account to earn points for your health tests and your steps.

So the first step is entering your information and getting aboard the bus. The first thing you do is get your blood pressure taken and your blood drawn. It’s just a finger prick, nothing serious. The information found out during this test: total cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure.

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We moved on to the second room to collect more health information. We stepped on the 7 in 1 weight analysis to determine our body mass index, body composition, skeletal muscle, resting metabolism, visceral fat, real body age and body weight. And after that, we went to talk to the pharmacist about our results. The whole process was very quick and very easy.

Walgreens Way To Well Tour

It’s important to get your numbers checked so you know that you’re on track with your health. It’s important to stay on top of your health! I’m proud to say that my numbers checked out. This is a big deal for me because I was AFRAID to get my numbers checked when I was overweight which wasn’t the smartest thing. That wasn’t solving anything that was just running from the truth.

I might have a low blood pressure problem, but all blog readers know that is something I’ve been struggling with for a long time. Other than that my numbers came back in the normal range.  It’s important to get up and get active!  We are living proof that a healthy diet and activity can take you a long way.  Don’t make our mistake and ignore your health.  Get your numbers checked.  Visit the Walgreens Way to Well Health tour near you to get these test done for free!

As you know last week, I announced a giveaway for a Fitbit.  I am glad to announce the winner is Jessica H.  I will e-mail the winner so you can start enjoying your own fitbit.

*Restrictions apply. For a list of qualifying activities and complete terms and conditions for Balance Rewards, visit Walgreens.com/HealthyChoices. Information provided to Walgreens online is covered by the terms of our Online Privacy and Security Policy and the terms and conditions of Balance Rewards. Personally identifiable information is not covered under HIPAA or the Walgreens Notice of Privacy Practices.

+* Restrictions apply. Limit 20 points per mile, 1000 points per month. Limit 20 points per daily weigh-in logged. Limit 20 points per blood glucose test, two logs per day. Limit 20 points per blood pressure test, one log per day. One-time award, 250 points each, when you pledge to quit and set a quit date online. Nicotine Replacement Therapy usage, limit 20 points per log, one log per day. Information provided to Walgreens online is covered by the terms of our Online Privacy and Security Policy and the terms and conditions of Balance Rewards. Personally identifiable information is not covered under HIPAA or the Walgreens Notice of Privacy Practices. For full program terms and conditions, visit Walgreens.com/HealthyChoices.

Posted in: Race Recap, Running, Travel

Sunday morning was the day to run long! This was a taper run for me because I planned on running the Marine Corp Marathon the following week. This was also a training run for Willie who is training for his first marathon in December. It was meant to be fun. My attitude for this race was very different from the day before. The day before I was excited and ready to tackle the task. I woke up on Sunday and I wasn’t feeling it. Probably because it was a tad bit cooler than the day before. I don’t know what it is, but my body doesn’t handle the cold weather very well. That makes for some very scary running situations for me.

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The first order of business was to meet up with my Team Chocolate Milk teammates. This was a new bunch of teammates for me so I was excited to meet them. I only already knew one person so that’s always exciting to meet new people. Did I mention it was cold? This is probably the reason I got sick.

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I was assigned to corral #11 so Willie decided to start with me. The RnR corrals are always packed and sometimes it takes 15 minutes to make it to the actual start line. Willie thought it would be best if we started together even though we wouldn’t stay together during the race.

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I really enjoyed this race. Willie and I watched Welcome to Sweetie Pies on OWN and that’s pretty much all we knew about St. Louis…and the arch! I love running races in new cities because you really get the grand tour. Willie and I were kind of limited to exploring the city because we relied on public transportation aka the metro, no buses. So running the city really showed up a lot of places we hadn’t seen.

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My favorite part was running through The Grove and I spotted Sweetie Pies on the corner (but I didn’t stop for a picture because I messed around for a while getting the picture of the Grove sign). And I really enjoyed running through the Shaw neighborhood. It was just really pretty but still urban. I really loved it.

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There were still the steady climbs but everything was manageable. Despite not feeling like running, I was running a great race even with all the stopping I was doing. I even took the time to talk to one of Willie’s old friends from his childhood. Tiffany kind of ran up on me but I knew who she was immediately from her comments on the page. It’s always great to meet new people. At the end of the race, we took a picture together. She did great in the race too!

The weather was perfect for running so I had no complaints. I crossed the finish line with another PR for the weekend. I finished the half marathon in 2:11:03, 9:59 pace! That’s about a minute faster than my previous PR, which I hit at RnR Dallas in March! These Rock n Roll races just might be my jam!

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When I was done, I enjoyed some good low fat chocolate milk for my recovery! And then I was asked to do the Pace Per Mile video podcast! The guy who won the marathon came in 5 minutes after I crossed the finish line for my half marathon. How crazy is that? They interviewed him first and then they interviewed me. I was very honored to be able to do the podcast. It’s always great to be able to share our story and motivate others.

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Willie finished his half marathon in 2:57:34. After we were done, we headed back to the hotel to chill out for a few minutes and pack because our flight was leaving that night. We ended up walking around the city for the rest of the afternoon. I think the weekend was a success.

Posted in: Race Recap, Running, Travel

It’s been awhile since I ran this race but when I got back from St. Louis, I got sick and then I was on to Washington DC for Marine Corp. I’m usually really good about doing the race recaps on time but this time I failed.

Willie and I ventured to St. Louis just to run this race. That’s probably not very shocking to hear. The race started at 8AM so we had plenty of time to get to the race. The weather was cooler than what we were use to but that’s wasn’t a big deal. We left the hotel and walked to the starting line which was half a mile or so.

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We were passing by so many fun things I couldn’t resist. I had to take pictures with some of these things. Willie thought it was funny. He also thought it was funny I was in rush to get to the race. I used to be super serious about races which kind of ruined the fun for me. I’ve been going to a lot of races by myself so Willie hasn’t really been able to see how chill I’ve gotten about it until now. There were plenty of pictures to take a long the way.

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We finally made it to the race start but we still had a lot of time to burn. Rock n Roll has started these new weekend runs with races on both Saturday and Sunday. This was my first time doing the remix challenge. We were both excited because we would get an extra medal. Little did we know, we could have done the 5K + half marathon on Sunday too to get another medal. We totally would have done that if we had known that was an option.

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The race started on time and there were no corrals. You kind of just got in where you fit in and we were off. I’ve never been to St. Louis and I knew nothing about the terrain. I knew I was kind of itching to do well at the race where Willie was going more laid back. The three-mile race was a good preview for the next day. What I learned fro this race? There were lots of steady climbs, which I wasn’t expecting but I was able to run them. The weather was right and I was feeling really good. The miles just ticked away and then I was finished.

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I finished the race in 29:06, a PR for me. I probably shouldn’t have stopped at that water stop because I would have finished in less than 29 minutes, which would have been amazing. I was just really excited to get a PR. It just makes you feel good sometimes and I was in need of a pick me up because my marathons haven’t been going the way I thought they should be going. I finished 19 out of 124 in my age group, which was pretty cool.

Willie finished the race in 36:00. He did really well which left him positive for the race the next day!

Happy Halloween!

Posted in: Daily Life

Halloween never comes on a Friday night so I’m excited to hand out candy to the kiddies tonight!

Happy Halloween! I love giving out the candy to the kids! I'm not a big candy eater so having it in our house is not tempting to us. But I want to know what your favorite Halloween candy?
This morning I prepped the candy bucket and I am so excited to see the kids dressed up in their costumes. I just hope the kids will show up since it’s Friday night in the South. That is usually filled with high school football, so we’ll see.

I’ve been taking a poll on what people’s favorite candy is and chocolate seems to win out. Chocolate bars and chocolate peanut butter cups. Back in the day, I used to tear up peanut butter cups so I would probably go with that.

Having the candy is our house isn’t tempting because it’s just not something I want to eat. If I were to put some Twizzlers in the house, Willie would be seriously tempted though. That’s really the only candy he eats…and peanut butter cups.

Did you see the post I posted on FB about eating the Halloween candy and working it off? It’s definitely something you should check out if you plan on eating a lot of candy!  Eat a piece and work it off!

I was asked this morning if we gave out candy at our house for Halloween.  Yes we do!  It’s a special day for kids and they should enjoy it.  I don’t need to brow beat my healthy eating habits onto a kid on the biggest candy day of the year.  I do hope parents teach their kids about moderation though.  In addition to giving out candy, I give out pretzels too.  One year I tried the pre-packaged apple slices and that didn’t go over to well.  But there has always been candy.

I hope everyone enjoys a spooky special Halloween on this Friday!  Have a piece of candy but not too much!

Are you dressing up for Halloween?  What are you going to be?

Posted in: Fooducation, Stories, Weight Loss

I was listening to sports radio today and someone spoke about losing weight.  It was asked if being overweight was an unhappy thing because most weight loss stories begin with someone saying they were unhappy with their size. I think it’s a trap people fall in after they lost weight.  I’ve said it many times that I’m happier now that I’ve lost the weight which sometimes insinuates that I wasn’t happy before.  Don’t get me wrong, life definitely had it’s down points but it also had it’s ups too!

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I know the weight loss forced me to confront some issues that did lead to some unhappiness.  Learning the reasons why I overate or the feelings behind wanting to eat in certain situations was important to me because it wasn’t a road I wanted to ride down again.  I needed to get answers so I knew what to do to avoid the situations.

I ended up learning a lot of things about myself that probably weren’t the best things but it has helped me become a better person!  I do believe I’ve changed a lot over the past five years and I think it’s a positive change.  In my eyes, I think I was a train wreck but I’m really hard on myself.

What kind of things did I learn about myself?

  • I was a serious emotional eater.  When I was really sad, I would eat the most.  When I was sad, I would just eat no matter if I had just eaten.  When I was happy, I ate too.  It was a way of treating myself.  That’s still a really bad habit to break but I’m still a work in progress.
  • I ate out of boredom.  If I was bored, I was going to eat.  That’s why I don’t like to get in those situations now.  I’m constantly moving and involved in something so I don’t face down the boredom beast too often.  Sometimes I can’t avoid it so I focus on finding something to do.
  • I justified. I knew better than to eat all that food but I kept eating it.  I remember a couple of times thinking, “I’m already fat, what else could happen?”  How wrong is that?  That was just one of many things I would say to myself to justify my behavior.  I was enabling myself to head down a path that was eventually going to kill me.
  • Negative thoughts and self talk caused me to over think and analyze everything.  I would find problems when they didn’t exist.  I wasn’t confident in my decisions or actions.  I sometimes masked that behind overeating and eating really unhealthy.

These are just a few things that I learned a long the road.  But most importantly, I learned to believe in myself wholeheartedly.  I didn’t doubt myself and I became more determined.  I wouldn’t have learned any of this without the weight loss though.  I would still be traveling down that path.

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Weight loss forces you to confront all the demons that you never thought existed. That’s the not so great thing about weight loss.  It’s like breaking yourself down to build yourself back up.  But it can be a completely life changing experience if you’re really honest with yourself and take the process seriously. I think it’s an important step in changing your lifestyle.  If you don’t know the root of the problem, it can never be fixed.

Posted in: Product Review, Running

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno for the Wave Ride 18. All opinions expressed here are my own!

With the amount of running I do, I go through a lot of shoes, but I’ve never tried Mizuno’s before.  When it comes to trying new shoes, it’s kind of hard for me to take the plunge.  This time I am glad that I did.  The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is a neutral shoe but it packs some good mid-foot support, which is very important to me.

#ad Got my @mizuno #waverider18 today. Too bad it's a rest day. Tomorrow these hit the road! #fitfluential

The shoes I received were Black/Silver/Florida Keys!  That’s always a plus to have a good looking running shoe, right? I also liked how the toe box was wide enough for my wide feet.  When I get new shoes, this is always the first thing I worry about. The shoe hit the shelves on October 2, 2014 and retails for $119 which isn’t a bad price for a good quality running shoe.

I never run in my running shoes first off, I usually take them for a stroll! My running group was doing some different stuff this past week so I decided to take them on a three mile walk! The shoes were good. I do this to make sure they don’t rub my feet the wrong way and these didn’t. What can I say? I’m overly cautious!

Mizuno #waverider18

When I run really long, my gait gets lazy so I usually run in a more supported shoe which tends to be heavier.  What I loved about the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is it’s light weight (weighing in at 7.8 oz) and I felt comfortable ticking off the miles in these shoes with no problems.  Maybe that had something to do with the patented Wave Technology that Mizuno is known for in their shoes. The toe-off was smooth and kept me pushing forward.  It was definitely a nice ride.

Mizuno adopted the inspirational influence of the Japanese concept of “Hado,” the intrinsic vibrational life force energy that promotes powerful transformations. Hado is executed in the Wave Rider’s sleek, dynamic design relaying the power and kinetic energy of running, harnessing the transformative possibilities of every run.

If you’re a neutral runner, this shoe is for you!

Mizuno #waverider18

I have to be honest there wasn’t much I didn’t like about the shoe. I loved it for running on the treadmill because it was lighter, less clunky shoe. I loved it on the road because there was just enough support to keep me going longer and/or finishing up a great tempo run. This is just a great shoe for the neutral runner that needs some cushioning but doesn’t need the bulk.

Posted in: Race Recap, Running, Travel

Hello!  I’m still alive.  I’ve been sick lately and all my extra energy has been put into sleeping instead of working and/or blogging.  This past weekend I traveled to Washington DC for the very first time in my life.  I went with my mom because I raised money for Team Inspiration in the name of her. She’s my warrior!  I didn’t know until we were walking around that my mom had never been to Washington DC before either.  It was a special moment!

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I was so excited to see everything but man there are many things to see there.  We kind of got overwhelmed!  We took a bus tour that took all around and you could hop on and off whenever you wanted.  I was still very sick when we left on Thursday morning, but I wasn’t going to let anything ruin this opportunity for either of us.  I put on my big girl pants and sucked it up as much as I could.

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The first night we went to expo!  I think my mom had more fun there than I did. It was really exciting to see all the Marines there and talking to them.  They were thanking us for running in the name of all the fallen heroes and we were thanking them for their service.

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So what did we decide to see?  I didn’t care too much about seeing everything but I knew I wanted to visit the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and a few of the war memorials.  Getting to the White House was pretty much impossible for many reasons, but most importantly the President was on the move a lot when were there.  BTW: The White House isn’t very big.

This involved a lot of walking.  I was limited to how I felt and how much my mom was able to walk about the city.  But she did great!  I think she enjoyed me having the Fitbit so she could tell everyone how far she walked. We did get to tour the Capitol though which was really cool.  And they had the best gift shop.

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The trip would have been different if Willie and I had went alone because we would have spent more time exploring the back alleys and finding good food!  My mom wanted to see the sights and this trip was about celebrating her and being another year cancer free!

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Race morning was a little crazy!  This was the largest race I’ve ever ran so everything was on a massive level.  I was only three metro stops from the Pentagon, where the race started, but it took me an hour to get there.  And there was a lot of walking before the race actually started.  It was a little chilly too and I wasn’t feeling very well.  I went there to run the race so nothing was going to stop me.  Not even a little sinus infection and a fever, I just went after it.

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When we got to the first water stop, I knew immediately this wasn’t going to be a race I was going to be able to run.  That kind of sucked because until I got sick I was ready for this race.  I trained for it and I was ready to tackle it. But I couldn’t really breathe in through my nose which left my mouth really dry and it was just really hard to keep up.  I knew I was going to have to take it easy.  That normal thing that clicked on inside of my head telling me to run just wasn’t there.  It never really hit into high gear.  At mile 6 I thought I was going to have to drop out but that idea never really stuck.  I was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The only thing I was worried about was beating the bridge by 1:00 pm because that meant I would finish the race.  Everyone who didn’t make it there in time would not be able to finish.  I hit mile 19 around 12:15 pm and from that point on it was just about finishing.

I really enjoyed looking at everything.  We started at the Pentagon, ran through Rosslyn, by the Potomac River, into downtown Washington DC passed the Washington Monument, Capital building and everything in between.  The crowd support was amazing.  The Marines were handing out water at every water station.  At mile 24, Dunkin Donuts gave out donut holes.  We finished the race in Arlington National Cemetary!  I was just a really great experience.  I was so glad to finish.

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I finished the race in 5:45:59! It was tough not only because I was sick but the course is a booger! I wasn’t really expecting it to be so hilly. I definitely didn’t expect it to be so windy! I couldn’t imagine running my first marathon on that course but there were tons of people who did. I really wanted to bust out a PR for this race but it just wasn’t going to happen. I’ll have to try that in another race. But I was truly blessed and thankful to be running this race with Team Inspiration! Those were some of the greatest people I’ve ever met and I hate I couldn’t make it back to the tent to take a picture with them when I was done!

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And for all the fallen heroes…Thank you for your service to our great country!

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This was a dream race for me and that’s all I can say.  It was the greatest thing.  I crossed that finish line and I was content.  Time didn’t matter, it was just about making it to the end.

Posted in: Goals, Motivations, Weight Loss

Hello from Virginia! I arrived yesterday after two delayed flights but we still made it here.

Marine corps marathon weekend
I’m running the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend and decided to bring my mom along too. I’ve been working really hard to make this trip possible and this is the one thing I wanted to do in life besides go to China. I am having a very blessed year.

Marine corps marathon weekend

Last night we went to dinner at this place called Cosi. I have to shout out to how good this place was. Our options were Subway or Cosi because it was late and this stuff was close to the hotel. Cosi seemed like an elevated Subway and it was delicious. The calorie counts were on the menu and it costs about the same as Subway. I got the Shanghai chicken salad and it was delicious. I’ll probably end up eating there again.

Anyway, the conversation turned to anyone being anything they ever wanted if they worked for it. I’m a true believer in this theory. I think there is a twisted misconception that things are supposed to come easy to you, but the fact is you have to work for everything. Once upon a time, I complained about having to work so much harder for things to get the same result as other people. I know there is a whole race and woman minority thing that comes a long with that thinking that won’t add or detract anything from this argument so I won’t discuss that any further.

I feel like I’m living proof of this. Yes, Willie and lost the weight because we putt in the work behind it. But for me it’s more about the after, I wanted/want to do so many things that people deemed impossible or too much but I’m still doing it. By changing our lifestyle and losing the weight, I did learn that hard work paid off over time which gave me to strength and courage to explore new avenues in life and start on a new career path. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m working hard to get what I want.

But I truly believe that if you want something bad enough, you can and will achieve it. You have to put in the work behind it though. Everything takes work and practice and everything is not going to be easy. Isn’t that what makes achieving it so much better? Doesn’t sometimes make a victory a little more sweeter when you accomplish something people never thought you would do?

Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish, it will never come to fruition if you don’t take the steps to get started. Weight loss. new career. getting out of debt, running a marathon, building a fence…Whatever it is make a plan, follow the steps, put in the work and you will get it. Hard work does pay off but sometimes it just takes time. Be patient, stay focused and make it happen.

Do you believe if you work hard at something you can be whatever you want?

Posted in: Tips, Weight Loss

For some reason people are saying that Willie and I were on The Biggest Loser. I’ve been stopped four times in two days of people asking me about the show. Sorry folks, we weren’t on that show. The social aspect of the show would have had us voted out in the very beginning.

But the lovely lady at Sam’s Club did ask me what the biggest game changer in losing all the weight. I didn’t even flinch when she asked because I know portion control was the biggest learning experience of it.

Please pay attention to portion sizes. Read the labels and just get educated on the information. There’s lots of information on those labels but right now I’m just talking about portion control.

A standard size for an animal protein is 4oz. That’s not as big as what you think, BUT it’s not so little that you feel hungry. The standard serving of fruit seems to be 83-100 grams. Most leafy greens have a huge portion size for limited amount of calories.

That muffin you’ve been eyeing might only be 200 calories but you have to look at the portion size. This is especially true when it comes to your liquid calories. I’ve read many times many people gain weight while trying to lose weight due to their liquid calories. That’s why I mostly just stick to water. It’s the calorie free drink and you can have as much as you want.

I still weigh out most of my food so I know the proper portion so a good scale is a handy thing to have.

Do you have a food scale? Do you worry about portion size?